A few hundred ring in 2016 in downtown Youngstown

Downtown fireworks. Dec. 31, 2015
Fireworks explode over downtown Youngstown during First Night Youngstown. Dec. 31, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Most people like to stay home and ring in the new year by watching TV. The few hundred people who watched the ball drop in downtown Youngstown at midnight Thursday night think otherwise.

Staci Fizet is a longtime First Night Youngstown attendee. She says, “We’re from Canfield, so we don’t venture out too much downtown. But with all the money that’s being pumped into the city, I feel very safe down here so I thought I’d bring the kids.”

First Night Youngstown 2016 included ice skating at the Covelli Centre, plenty of music, arts activities, and fireworks at 9 p.m. and 12 midnight.

A lot of people who spoke with WKBN said the event was better than last year. One person says the city has improved since 2014 too.

“I just feel like it’s becoming a lot better”, says first-time First Nighter Amy McGonigal. “Everyone is like ‘oh Youngstown is so bad,’ but really it’s becoming a lot better especially around here.”

McGonigal is a YSU student.

Police were also out in force downtown, making sure people got home safely.

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